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Housing & Conference Services

Living At McMaster

Cohabiting Cohesively

The people you live with can really affect your experience of living in that house or apartment as well as how you do at school. When you start looking for a place, take some time to sit down with your potential housemates and have a frank, honest discussion about the basic setup of your arrangement and how your life together will work on a practical day-to-day basis. Always remember that the little things matter when you share a living space. Keep in mind that “best friends” don’t necessarily make “best housemates”.

Two friends high-fiving

Common housemate concerns

  • Should the rent be split evenly or should there be a premium for larger rooms or better locations in the house?
  • What will happen during the summer months, who plans on staying, and what will happen to the rooms that no one plans on staying in?
  • Does a subtenant have to be approved by all the remaining housemates?
  • Does anyone smoke? Is this okay with the rest of the housemates?
  • Does every housemate need to be of the same gender?
  • Who will do the dishes, clean the bathrooms, take out the garbage, etc.?
  • Do people have certain standards for the above chores that should be communicated to the group?
  • Do you expect quiet hours? Will you be OK if someone hosts a party?
  • Who is responsible for paying the internet, electricity bills, etc. and when is everyone’s share due?
  • Is it acceptable to have overnight guests and how often?